Nys powers away from Albert to win a muddy Namur race

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won the first ever cyclo-cross World Cup round at the citadel in Namur, Belgium. The Belgian veteran came out the victor at the end of an exciting last lap duel with Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Nys also took over the lead in the World Cup rankings after five rounds from Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), who finished fourth in Namur.

"This is why I became a cyclo-cross rider. This is why people watch cyclo-cross, because every second something could happen. Winning here after a battle with the Belgian champion, the world champion and the UCI World Cup leader makes the win even more valuable. In 20 years, this win will still be in my mind," Nys said. "It was super hard. Twice I flatted far from the pit. I had to climb with a flat tire which cost me a lot of energy, but I didn't want to crack. I got angry at myself to transcend myself."

The super exciting finale was preceded by a more tactical build-up during the first half of the race. The selection of a group of about 20 riders was made from behind. The pace in front was set by Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ). During the third lap, relatively unknown French rider Aurélien Duval led the pack.

Shortly after that, the big guns started firing. Albert accelerated during the fourth lap and only eight men were able to keep up: Meeusen, Mourey, Duval, Nys, Vantornout, Pauwels and world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Team). An acceleration from Nys cost Duval his spot in the lead group at the end of the fourth lap.

Nys continued his efforts during the fifth of eight laps, and the 35-year-old was at the front together with a well-performing Vantornout. Stybar closed the gap with the leaders and suddenly Nys faded. "I quickly realized that Nys flatted," said Vantornout. "I accelerated and for a brief moment, I believed in the victory but it was still more than three laps to go."

Stybar neutralized the move from Vantornout in the sixth lap by placing his attack. Vantornout followed the world champion and so did Nys, Albert and Meeusen. For Pauwels, a badly timed flat tire ruined his race and he suddenly trailed by 14 seconds. "I flatted twice today, which is too bad because otherwise I still would've been in the group," Pauwels said.

During the penultimate lap, no damage was done in front and Pauwels managed to get back to five seconds within the five remaining leaders. In the last lap, everybody went flat out. Albert led the group and the first victim of his efforts was Meeusen, soon to be followed by Stybar.

"It was great still to have punch in the last lap. That's what I worked on in Spain. In the end, it was about details. I looked back and noticed that Sven was at 10-15 meters. Sadly enough, I struggled on the descent which allowed him to come back relatively easy," Albert said. Nys sat on Albert's wheel on the last climb and then punched away once they reached the pavement. "I tried to accelerate too but that was a standstill sprint," Albert described his sprint.

Behind Nys and Albert, it was Vantornout who captured the remaining podium spot at 21 seconds. "I've been performing constantly except for Igorre. I was looking forward to these muddy races, but yesterday [GVA in Essen] I crashed in a pool of ice water. I'm Klaas Vantornout, and I realize I don't have the talent of the big four, but on a good day they have to take me into account," Vantornout said.

Behind the podium finishers, Pauwels did a great job for his World Cup ranking by passing Stybar and Meeusen during the last lap. He didn't salvage his leader's jersey, but he is trailing Nys by only five points. "My fourth place in Essen and here in Namur are more than I hoped for," Pauwels said.

World champion Stybar finished fifth ahead of Meeusen, and the Czech was pleased with his performance. At the finish line, he hinted out that the end of his cyclo-cross season had been on his mind. "I didn't expect it, so I'm really happy. Today I soon felt that I had to ride my own tempo. Yesterday I was very dejected during the last laps. If today wouldn't be good, we would have had to make a decision if it were worth continuing my season or not," Stybar said.

French champion Mourey was best of the rest in seventh place at 1:23, just ahead of his surprisingly strong compatriot Duval. Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) was ninth ahead of the third French rider in the top-10, John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale).

Yesterday's winner Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) didn't have a good day and he finished a distant 18th. That was still much better than the results from American riders Jonathan Page (Planetbike) and Timothy Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who finished 25th and 39th respectively.

The next round of the World Cup is held at the former F1 car circuit in Zolder, Belgium, on December 26.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:03:04
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:05
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:21
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:26
5Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:32
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:40
7Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:01:23
8Aurelien Duval (Fra)0:01:24
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:01:27
10John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:34
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:01:48
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing0:01:56
13Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team0:02:03
14Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:02:18
15Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:19
16Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 930:02:26
17Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ0:02:40
18Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team0:02:41
20Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:02:57
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:06
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:03:16
23Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized0:03:33
24Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:52
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:59
26Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)0:04:06
27Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:09
28Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:14
29Martin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL Trans0:04:22
30Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:38
31Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:04:39
32Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:40
33Lubomir Petrus (Cze)0:04:42
34Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:05:02
35Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de0:05:06
36David Kasek (Cze)0:05:09
37Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:05:14
38Marco Bianco (Ita)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com0:05:15
40Marco Ponta (Ita)0:05:24
41Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:05:29
42Clément Bourgoin (Fra)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:05:50
44Marcel Meisen (Ger)0:05:56
45Martin Haring (Svk)0:06:11
46Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:06:14
47Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:06:18
48Cristian Cominelli (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:06:21
49Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans0:06:28
50Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:29
51Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team0:07:13
-1lapTroy Wells (USA)Row 51 - Cell 2
-1lapGusty Bausch (Lux)Row 52 - Cell 2
-2lapsMitchell Hoke (USA)Row 53 - Cell 2
-2lapsKenneth Hansen (Den)Row 54 - Cell 2
-2lapsEddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
-2lapsCraig Richey (Can)Row 56 - Cell 2
-3lapsYannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSPRow 57 - Cell 2
-3lapsKeiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) Team Bridgestone AnchorRow 58 - Cell 2
-3lapsEmil Arvid Olsen (Den)Row 59 - Cell 2
-4lapsElia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia GuerciottiRow 60 - Cell 2
-4lapsJeremy Durrin (USA)Row 61 - Cell 2
-5lapsDimitriy Sorokin (Lat)Row 62 - Cell 2
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De RijkeRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFEgoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNFThijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFVincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFPablo Trabadelo Villabrille (Spa)Row 67 - Cell 2
DNFRené Lang (Swi)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNSOle Quast (Ger)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNSChristian Heule (Swi) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.comRow 70 - Cell 2
DNSArnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - FideaRow 71 - Cell 2
DNSDarryn Medhurst (NZl)Row 72 - Cell 2

World Cup standings after five rounds

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet365pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor360Row 1 - Cell 3
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team305Row 2 - Cell 3
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor275Row 3 - Cell 3
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea270Row 4 - Cell 3
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ266Row 5 - Cell 3
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team265Row 6 - Cell 3
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea199Row 7 - Cell 3
9Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ194Row 8 - Cell 3
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti185Row 9 - Cell 3
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team182Row 10 - Cell 3
12Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team172Row 11 - Cell 3
13Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93164Row 12 - Cell 3
14Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus155Row 13 - Cell 3
15Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus155Row 14 - Cell 3
16Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole150Row 15 - Cell 3
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team149Row 16 - Cell 3
18Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing135Row 17 - Cell 3
19Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team129Row 18 - Cell 3
20Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team129Row 19 - Cell 3
21Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus119Row 20 - Cell 3
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet112Row 21 - Cell 3
23Marcel Meisen (Ger)105Row 22 - Cell 3
24Cristian Cominelli (Ita) TX Active Bianchi105Row 23 - Cell 3
25Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)98Row 24 - Cell 3
26Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus97Row 25 - Cell 3
27Thijs Al (Ned) AADrink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team96Row 26 - Cell 3
28Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke95Row 27 - Cell 3
29Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles83Row 28 - Cell 3
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com77Row 29 - Cell 3
31Marco Bianco (Ita)76Row 30 - Cell 3
32Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)76Row 31 - Cell 3
33Martin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL Trans75Row 32 - Cell 3
34Aurelien Duval (Fra)71Row 33 - Cell 3
35Petr Dlask (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team67Row 34 - Cell 3
36Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike64Row 35 - Cell 3
37Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team64Row 36 - Cell 3
38David Kasek (Cze)59Row 37 - Cell 3
39Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com53Row 38 - Cell 3
40Magnus Darvell (Swe)51Row 39 - Cell 3
41Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team50Row 40 - Cell 3
42Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de49Row 41 - Cell 3
43Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Sunweb - Revor48Row 42 - Cell 3
44Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels46Row 43 - Cell 3
45John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale42Row 44 - Cell 3
46Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team42Row 45 - Cell 3
47Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)35Row 46 - Cell 3
48Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team31Row 47 - Cell 3
49Marco Ponta (Ita)30Row 48 - Cell 3
50José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team29Row 49 - Cell 3
51Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans27Row 50 - Cell 3
52Jérome Chevallier (Fra)26Row 51 - Cell 3
53Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)25Row 52 - Cell 3
54Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus24Row 53 - Cell 3
55Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti24Row 54 - Cell 3
56Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team23Row 55 - Cell 3
57Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)23Row 56 - Cell 3
58James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com22Row 57 - Cell 3
59Kenneth Hansen (Den)21Row 58 - Cell 3
60Karel Hnik (Cze) Telenet - Fidea20Row 59 - Cell 3
61Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea19Row 60 - Cell 3
62Craig Richey (Can)19Row 61 - Cell 3
63Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team19Row 62 - Cell 3
64Lubomir Petrus (Cze)18Row 63 - Cell 3
65Erlantz Uriarte Okamika (Spa)18Row 64 - Cell 3
66Fabio Ursi (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.18Row 65 - Cell 3
67Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)18Row 66 - Cell 3
68Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)17Row 67 - Cell 3
69Guillaume Perrot (Fra)17Row 68 - Cell 3
70Ondrej Bambula (Cze)17Row 69 - Cell 3
71Jeremy Durrin (USA)16Row 70 - Cell 3
72Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet16Row 71 - Cell 3
73Martin Haring (Svk)16Row 72 - Cell 3
74Joachim Parbo (Den)14Row 73 - Cell 3
75Milan Barenyi (Svk)14Row 74 - Cell 3
76Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea12Row 75 - Cell 3
77René Lang (Swi)12Row 76 - Cell 3
78Melvin Rulliere (Fra)11Row 77 - Cell 3
79Nico Brüngger (Swi)11Row 78 - Cell 3
80Clément Bourgoin (Fra)9Row 79 - Cell 3
81Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia - Felt6Row 80 - Cell 3
82Ole Quast (Ger)5Row 81 - Cell 3
83Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)3Row 82 - Cell 3


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